Friday, April 01, 2011

The new flock

We have chicks.

We got three black sex-link chicks and three barred rock chicks today.  No ameraucanas this time, but they may have some next Friday, at which point we may pick up three more.  We'll see.  We didn't pick out the prettiest chickens in the universe, at least to my eyes, but they're tough, reliable breeds and they'll be good layers.  Not that we need a gizillion eggs.  

I still miss my original birds desperately, especially Cleo and Hero, and Henry, and that may be why I didn't decide to wait for ameraucanas and get only that breed.  I don't want to think of these as replacements--they're their own birds with their own lives.  

Of that original flock we still have Beatrice and one of the Wyandotte roosters.  They're doing very well, although they're a bit perturbed about not being able to roam around the garden freely like they used to.  Beatrice lays one lovely pink egg every day, despite having a mere quarter of an acre on which to roam.  She's good at making due.  The rooster seems more surly lately, and attacks me when I start to leave.  I figure he's trained himself not to attack when we come in, because that might deter us from providing treats ...

I'm really anxious about introducing our babies to the older birds.  In theory they'll all be hens (the feed store changed companies after customer complaints about having too many roosters) so the rooster probably won't object to them, but still.  Fortunately that's a long ways away.  They have to get all their outdoor, grownup feathers first.  They'll still be peeping, though, when they move into the big coop, and I hope that will help the adult chickens look at them as non-threats.  They'll look almost grown-up, but they won't really be mature birds until winter has come on, at which point they should be completely integrated into the flock.

They're fast asleep right now.  Why is there always one that has to sleep with her head over the edge of the waterer?  Her beak isn't dipped into the water and she's breathing fine, but still.  Sheesh.  That can't be comfortable.

We have a better chance of having all females this time around thanks to the change in company, but I don't know if the quality of bird overall will be better.  I'm having my doubts.  I've had to clean up two pasty butts already.  I had only one sick bird last time out of the seven, and she ended up doing famously.  I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope that these all survive to become big, healthy, happy biddies.  It's not all hope, though.  We'll take the best care of them that we know how.  So far, so good.

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